The stars that will miss Eurobasket 2017
Eurobasket 2017 tips off in two days and this year’s European Championships will see many teams without key players.
The absence of some of the best players in the game from the upcoming Eurobasket tournament is a real let down to European basketball fans, who will have their eyes on the European Championships over the next month. Many teams will compete without their star players and will be forced to adapt their game play accordingly.
Greece will be without NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a knee injury while Milos Teodosic was recently added to a long list of absentees from the Eurobasket. Serbia, who are one of the favorites to win the tournament, will also be without key players including Miroslav Raduljica (knee injury), Nikola Milutinov (personal choice), Marko Simonovic, Nemanja Bjelica (injury), and Nikola Jokic (personal choice).
Italy’s Danilo Gallinari, who plays for the Clippers, is still recovering from a broken hand after foolishly punching Dutch basketball player Jito Kok in a pre-Eurobasket friendly while Panathinaikos and Belgium’s Matt Lojeski will miss out to rest in the offseason.
France will miss NBAer Tony Parker after he announced his retirement from the national team last summer and Utah Jazz star, Rudy Gobert, who will focus his time in the offseason in the NBA.
Defending Eurobasket champions, Spain, will compete without injured Sergio Llull (suffered ACL injury in friendly) while others chose not to compete in the Eurobasket due to personal reasons (Nikola Mirotic, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernández). Despite the absences, Spain will go into the tournament as the favorites to repeat.
Below are 33 key players that will not partake in the Eurobasket, 21 of whom play in the NBA. Most of the following players have decided to focus their efforts on the upcoming NBA season and follow an individual training program as opposed to competing with their national teams. Then there is the case of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was ruled out due to injury but according to many at the Hellenic Basketball Federation, was forced against his will to miss out after heavy pressure from the Bucks and NBA.
Belgium: Matt Lojeski
Croatia: Mario Hezonja, Ante Zizic, Ivica Zubac
Poland: Marcin Gortat
Greece: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kostas Koufos
Serbia: Milos Teodosic, Miroslav Raduljica, Marko Simonovic, Nemanja Bjelica, Nikola Jokic, Nikola Milutinov
France: Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert, Ian Mahinmi, Fabien Causeur, Tony Parker
Slovenia: Zoran Dragic
Italy: Danilo Gallinari
Germany: Daniel Theis, Paul Zipser
Czech Republic: Jan Vesely, Blake Schilb
Spain: Sergio Llull, Nikola Mirotic, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernández, Felipe Reyes
Great Britain: Ben Gordon
Turkey: Ersan İlyasova, Omer Asik
Ukraine: Alex Len
Lithuania: Domantas Sabonis
Georgia: Viktor Sanikidze